Italy is a country of famed cuisine. From pizza to pasta, there’s no shortage of incredibly delicious foods that come out of the country. Perhaps one of Italy’s biggest culinary achievements is that of cured meats. They have perfected the processes and use only the highest quality ingredients to produce these tasty deli favorites. Without further ado, here are the absolute best Italian deli meats you can find.
Italy’s answer to bologna, mortadella is an elevated version of the American lunchtime favorite. Indeed, it actually comes specifically from the Bologna region. This deli meat is a special blend of pork meat, nuts, and spices, so it packs a flavorful punch.
This deli meat is different from most Italian versions in that it isn’t entirely cured through, which means it doesn’t last as long. But as delicious as this treat is, that’s certainly not an issue! If you’ve never experienced Porchetta, think of a sort of pork roll, with a crispy outer shell made from the skin, wrapped around tender pork loin and belly meat. The very inside includes a seasoning mixture made of garlic and spices. A slice of this is hearty, filling, and oh-so-tasty!
You’ll have to travel to Italy to sample this deli meat delicacy; the fact that it is aged in a pig’s bladder means that it is considered somewhat uncouth. It’s a shame, though, because this type of Italian ham is melt-in-your-mouth delicious, with flavors of garlic, sea salt, and punchy black pepper. The hams are then hung to dry in the bladders, growing the mold that bestows the ham with its unique flavors.
No list of the best deli meats in the world would be complete without this tasty rendition of Italian deli meat. It is known for its salty flavor and wafer-thin slices. It is a delicious addition to any charcuterie presentation and is particularly intriguing when wrapped around otherwise bland vegetables.
If you enjoy bacon, then you’ll love Italy’s version. Pancetta is similar to bacon, but because it is cured and not smoked, it has an extra hit of that saltiness we all love. There’s plenty of fat on it as well, so you won’t be short on all that flavor. Try it thinly sliced or chopped up in bits and added to your favorite dish.
If you’re on the hunt for some of the best Italian deli meats, check out your nearest Italian grocery store. A brief stop at Bricco Salumeria will result in some of the best-cured meats you’ve ever had.